Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chuck Berry, Trains, Drivers & Show # 474

Ever since releasing his 1955 hit single “Maybeline” for Chess Records, Chuck Berry has gone on to be a highly influential Rock and Roll musician and songwriter.   Berry originally from St. Louis, Missouri would play Blues music with local musicians in St. Louis as a source of extra income.   This was where Berry developed his early style, he also would mix Country songs in with R&B songs all the while never being afraid to show off his talents.   In 1955, Chuck Berry moved to Chicago and contacted Leonard Chess upon a suggestion from Muddy Waters.   In May of 1955, Chuck Berry recorded “Maybeline” which was based off an early fiddle song “Ida Red”.   It went on to sell one million copies unexpectedly.

Today’s program featured some rarer and for the most part, lesser known Berry songs.  The first song “Downbound Train” was the b-side of the song “No Money Down”, which was originally released in 1955.   The song was said to be influenced by Chuck Berry’s extreme religious upbringing, but some have also said that it could have been based on an older song with a similar theme.   However, Chuck Berry’s version tells the story of the redemption and the warnings of alcohol abuse.   In the song a man passes out drunk at a bar and has a dream about riding a train, which is driven by the devil.  The man in the story wakes up renouncing the drink.  The song features a strong message in an almost folk-like format lyrically.

“I Want To Be Your Driver” was another song featured on today’s program.   This song is a more upbeat song than “Downbound Train” and this song features a more upbeat R&B Rock sound. This song was recorded in 1965 and was not released as a single.   Lyrically the song plays into the late 50’s/early 60’s subculture, featuring lyrics about automobiles amongst ancy guitar riffs.   The song can be found along with many other tracks on Chuck Berry’s 1965 release Chuck Berry In London, which is an often overlooked album of Berry’s that contains many hidden gems.


For the next few week’s I will be filling in for the time slot prior to mine from 9 AM – 10:30 AM on CJAM 99.1 FM.  Each of these shows will focus on Roots Rock oriented genres.  This week the first hour and a half of music was devoted to the Country and Blues music genres. The program featured selections from Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Sonny Boy Williamson, Indian Wars, Cuff The Duke and a rare and unreleased Country track from the 80s Garage band The Prehistoric Cavestrokers.  The second half of the show was my usual mix of music you would find on Revolution Rock, playing several artists including music by The Beatles, Young Rival and new music from Crocodiles and Papermaps.

Part One:
Revolution Rock (Country and Blues Edition):

1. Cuff the Duke - Long Road (Sidelines of the City - 2007)
2. Hank Williams - A Mansion On The Hill (40 Greatest Hits - 1978)
3. Bob Dylan - House Carpenter (Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait - 2013)
4. David Lynch - The Ballad of Hollis Brown (The Big Dream - 2013)
5. Neko Case - Local Girl (The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You - 2013)
6. Andre Williams & The Sadies - I Can Tell (Night & Day - 2012)
7. Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs - Nashville (Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs - 2011)
8. Prehistoric Cave Strokers - Jed's Rap (Unreleased Recording)
9. Chuck Berry - Downbound Train (After School Session - 1957)
10. Chuck Berry - I Want To Be Your Driver (The Great Twenty-Eight - 1982)
11. Muddy Waters - Tiger In Your Tank (At Newport 1960 - 1960)
12. Sonny Boy Williamson - Alice Mae Blues (Country Blues Obscurities - 2009)
13. Little Sam Davis - Goin' To New Orleans (Country Blues Obscurities - 2009)
14. Robert Johnson - Me and the Devil Blues (King of the Delta Blues Singers - 1961)
15. The White Stripes - It's My Fault For Being Famous (Conquest Single - 2007)
16. Neil Young - Mellow My Mind (Tonight's The Night - 1975)
17. Cowboy Junkies - Working on a Building (The Trinity Sessions - 1988)
18. Deer Tick - Houston, TX (Born On Flag Day - 2009)
19. The Locusts Have No King - Last Ride (THe Locusts Have No King - 2007)
20. Indian Wars - Missippi (Songs From The North - 2012)
21. Johnny Cash - Bottom Of A Mountain (Bootleg Series Vol. II - From Memphis To Hollywood - 2011)
22. Bob Dylan - This Evening, So Soon (Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait - 2013)

Download part one (Revolution Rock - Country & Blues Edition) here: 

Part Two:
Revolution Rock:

1. TV Freaks – Pusher
2. Jacuzzi Boys – Hotline
3. The Night People – We Got It
4. The Canadian Rogues – You Better Stop
5. The Premiers – Farmer John
6. The Magic Mushrooms – It’s-A-Happening
7. Ty Segall – The Keepers
8. Pokey Lafarge – Pack It Up
9. Curbside Sofa – Be My Girl
10. Holograms – Meditations
11. Crocodiles – Cockroach
12. Orphan Choir – Broken Upright Piano
13. Contradance – Black Preppies
14. Brazilian Money – Filthy Dreams
15. The Mark Inside – Dead Heart
16. The Mark Inside – Balloons
17. Papermaps – The Hedonist
18. The Beatles – Devil In Her Heart
19. The Beatles – Not A Second Time
20. Young Rival – Lost
21. Undertones – I Know A Girl
22. The Embarassment – Sound of Wasps
23. Link Wray – Dance Party Pt.1
24. Deerhunter - Back To The Middle

Download part two (Revolution Rock) here.

Subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

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